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How These 2 Entrepreneurs Are Making Conversation-as-a-Service Platforms A Reality For Enterprises

How These 2 Entrepreneurs Are Making Conversation-as-a-Service Platforms A Reality For Enterprises

Ram Menon, CEO & Founder and Sriram Chakravarthy, CTO & CoFounder, Avaamo

After working with integrated middleware systems at companies like SAP, Apple and TIBCO, Ram Menon and Sriram Chakravarthy realised that the next jump in enterprise software would be conversational interfaces. These platforms would be able to talk and ask questions in the enterprise systems. This is when they decided to take it a step further and founded Avaamo in the year 2014.

With their belief in the conversational interfaces at the enterprise level, they have been able to build a new platform to offer conversation-as-a-service (CaaS) as a new kind of infrastructure. And since 2017, they have been leading the way in deep learning space, specialising in conversational interfaces to solve specific, high-impact problems.

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The team spread across Los Altos (California), and Bengaluru, have developed a fundamental AI technology across a broad area of neural networks to make conversational computing for enterprises a reality.

Leading India’s AI Revolution

Since its inception, the company has been providing services to industries such as banking, insurance and telecom. Many financial institutions availed Avaamo’s AI solution to implement conversational AI-based interfaces owing to offerings such as security, integration, and an ability to converse intelligently. The two main offerings by Avaamo in conversational tech are:

  • Virtual assistants
  • Conversational IVR

“Our enterprise AI platform dramatically simplifies the time needed to design and deploy bots to corporate employees and their customers. Avaamo’s tightly integrated platform uniquely combines tooling, data, and enterprise connectors to ensure designers, data scientists, and developers can design and deploy complex conversational interfaces in weeks”, said Ram Menon, in an interaction with Analytics India Magazine.

Their industry-first capabilities include a comprehensive, easy-to-use AI platform that offers the following:

  • Comprehensive NLP based AI engine.
  • Behaviour libraries designed to detect hate, frustration, praise and a gamut of other emotions.
  • Deep domain machine learning models in banking, insurance, telco, and healthcare.
  • Integration to Legacy Systems and Systems of Record.
  • Broad deployment options — deploy to messaging solutions, websites and portals.
  • Enterprise-grade security, entitlements, and scalability including HIPAA & GDPR compliance.

They have a wide range of clients such as SBI Mutual Funds, Reliance Nippon, Reliance Capital, HDFC Loans, ICICI Prudential, IFFCO-Tokyo, Birla Sunlife, Aditya Birla Capital, Axis Bank, City Union Bank, RBL, Ashok Leyland, India First, and other financial institutions.

Avaamo Believes That Conversational AI Is The Need Of The Hour

Sriram Chakravarthy shares that conversational AI is being applied by many industries and depending on the value proposition, investors are looking for real tangible benefits of the technology in terms of “making” money or “saving” money.

“In the case of AI, an ecosystem is building up to support the deployment of technology to corporate enterprises. Avaamo has emerging ecosystems around AI supporting large enterprises, invest and validate our technology,” said Chakravarthy. Avaamo has been trusted by major players and many companies have made major investments in the company, such as:

  • Intel, which supplies new hardware for AI-based technology and workload
  • Ericsson, which carries 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic
  • Wipro has built a robust delivery capability around AI and Avaamo, it also provides reassurance to customers that they can implement the technology

“We have taken a different approach where the AI is language independent. So we can take a variety of languages and ‘teach’ the bot a new language in a few days. We already support pidgin languages like, Hinglish (Hindi in English characters), Banglish (Bengali in English characters) and Chinglish (Chinese in English characters),” he said.

Technology Stack

As Avaamo is highly invested into offering deep learning solutions specialising in conversational interfaces to solve, specific high impact problems, they need a set of highly efficient set of tools and technologies to achieve it. Menon shares that since they have a unique offering, much of the technology in this area had to be invented.

They developed a fundamental AI technology across a broad area of neural networks, speech synthesis and deep learning to make conversational computing for the enterprise a reality. “With seven patents and counting, we are building a new technology stack”, he shared.

Growth Story And Funding

Menon believes that in an emerging market such as artificial intelligence, the key has been to hire smart people in order to build a highly differentiated product in the market. With powerhouse teams in Bengaluru and Silicon Valley offices, they have been able to get some of the brightest machine learning and AI engineers in their team.

As Avaamo’s technologies have been deployed in over 40 countries including India, 11 languages, with more than 2 million interactions per week, it has raised over $24 million from some of the most sophisticated technology investors including Intel Capital, Ericsson, Wipro venture and Mahindra partners.

With an aim to push ahead to various areas where conversational interfaces can be implanted, the startup team is working hard to reach out to potential customers, employees and stakeholders to interact with one another in the business world quite efficiently. “We’re committed to making it incredibly easy for businesses to implement this paradigm shift in user computing”, Menon said on a concluding note.

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